Shaving With a Hatchet

I’ve never been one to meditate. Sitting still and centering myself has never felt like something I have had even the tiniest bit of desire to do. I have always felt that if I was going to sit cross-legged on a pillow chanting, it was because I had finally given in to my secret desire to join a doomsday cult and plant stuff in the leader’s chambers making him think G-d was coming for only him. Ok, G-d and Jason Voorhees. Well-placed hockey masks and fallen calendars will rattle you after a while, but not as fast as pigs blood.

Can’t you just imagine if someone had done that to David Koresh? Priceless.

Anyways, as I said, taking time to center myself has never appealed to me. I have rampant ADHD, I fidget. I am constantly moving unless I am asleep. Even when I am reading, I am shaking my legs, tapping my hands, moving my body.

I realized recently I meditate almost every day. Sure I don’t have a nifty pillow, the only thing I chant is inappropriate epithets at my friends, and I think my qi may be broken, I still meditate.

I completely zone out on my runs. My brain and thoughts clear, my breathing becomes steady and regular. I can focus on exactly what’s bothering me, and figure out ways to move past it. It also has the added benefit of passing interesting scenery. (homeless guy dressed as the Pope? Alright, I’ll take it as a sign I need to dry-clean my white dress!)

I used to chastise myself for not being able to just “sit and be”, I’d feel inferior, I’d feel like my ADHD ruled me instead of the other way around. I’d feel like that third grader who couldn’t sit still long enough with their classmates to complete a task. Funny how it’s so easy to visualize my being screamed at by my evil bitch of a third grade teacher. (and I LOVE teachers.)

It took me the better part of three decades to realize that just because I need to do it differently does not mean it is inadequate. It does not make me less-than, it simply points out that I am a creative problem solver. I think I realized that on a run…or maybe I was in the shower…probably running. I can’t zone out too much in the shower, I’d be gross, and my legs would look like someone shaved them with a shaky hand holding a hatchet. I value my legs, they hold me up on my runs.

I can’t zone out too much while I cook, either. Trust me, I’ve done it, and it does not end well. Fortunately for you, I was FULLY focused on cooking this couscous….even if it doesn’t require much thought.

Basil Lemon Mint CousCous

Basil Lemon Mint CousCous

by Cat Tan

Keywords: saute steam appetizer salad side summer


  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 6-10 mint leaves
  • 10+ basil leaves
  • juice of one lemon
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper


slice the basil and mint into thin strips

slice the tomato into thick slices

crumble the feta

in a saucepan, heat the olive oil in a pan on medium-high

saute the onions in the olive oil

add in the lemon zest and saute one more minute

add the stock, bring to a boil

stir in the cous cous, salt and pepper, and lemon juice

turn off heat and cover

in 5 minutes uncover and fluff with a fork

stir in remaining ingredients.


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7 thoughts on “Shaving With a Hatchet

  1. thank you for sharing this! I am currently trying to find what is best for me to relax and 'zone out' and have been struggling so far! I am in the progress of starting running as well, and so hopefully will find that works! :) thanks again! ellie x

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